Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / The LEGO Movie

Go To

  • Accidental Innuendo: The opening lines of the movie.
    Vitruvius: He's coming. Cover your butt.
  • Adorkable: Emmet is a cute little minifigure who loves rainbows and awesome things, and is clumsy, goofy, and not very bright, but lovable.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Did Finn's dad let the baby sister play with the same Lego collection to be fair, or because he wanted to teach Finn a lesson about the difficulties of sharing your Legos with kids?
    • Advertisement:
    • Some fans wonder if The Man Upstairs had some degree of OCD or was in a mid-life crisis due to his obsession with order and control for his Lego world. As stated elsewhere on this page- even most adult fans are against the idea of gluing their Legos in place.
    • Does Finn know Emmet and the other LEGO figurines are alive?
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Zig-Zagged with Japan, where The LEGO Movie didn't make a splash at all despite being one of the biggest movies of the year in its native USA. Frequently cited reasons include a poor dub, being carried by relatively few theaters, competition from other movies, and the fact that the movie is so pop-culture focused that the jokes don't translate to Japanese. But when the DVD came out it became much more popular.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Once a LEGO movie was announced, many felt it would be merely a hollow Merchandise-Driven cartoon not much better than some preceding toy-based movies. Then upon release, it became a critical darling and even more liked by audiences (most of whom admitted it was a whole lot better than expected).
  • Advertisement:
  • Anticlimax Boss: Lord Business never actually gets into a real fight with any of the heroes—when he is in a fight, he usually uses sheer numbers or his superweapons to cheat. At the climax, some fans who adored the movie admitted that they would have preferred Emmet showing his Master Builder powers off and beating the person who took down the mentor.
  • Applicability: Co-Director Phil Lord joked that "My dream is to have terrible undergraduate term papers written about the movie." This more-or-less invites this idea in regards to the metatextual aspects of the film.
  • Award Snub:
    • While fans hoped this movie would receive an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature (and many pundits even had it pegged to win), the only nomination it earned was Best Song, for "Everything is Awesome". Variety attributed it to not being serious enough for voters, not angsty enough, too different, and not having hand-drawn animation. Needless to say, a lot of people were angry at this, with even some academy members crying foul. The backlash was so enormous (only Selma's was bigger) that The Lego Movie actually trended on Twitter because of it.
    • Advertisement:
    • To a lesser extent, there was disappointment when it lost the Golden Globe to How to Train Your Dragon 2, though it was at least nominated in that scenario (likewise for The Book of Life).
    • As a little Take That! to the Academy, Producer Phillip Lord tweeted an image of Nathan Sawaya's LEGO Oscar statue with the caption: "It's okay. Made my own!"
    • The producers continued to mock the Oscars after winning a BAFTA statuette
    • During the Oscars themselves, "Everything Is Awesome" warranted a showstopping performance complete with those LEGO statuettes, which many took not only as a highlight of the ceremony but as the Academy giving a mea culpa. And host Neil Patrick Harris made sure to point out before Best Animated Feature that it was the time to "get The Lego Movie directors away from the TV".
  • Awesome Ego: Batman in this film is a hugely egotistical character, unlike most true depictions of him. But he's friggin' Batman; if anyone deserves to have an ego, it's him.
  • Broken Base: Some fans who otherwise adore the film aren't fans of the plot-twist that the entire movie is just a story in Finn's head, with many saying that the Lego Universe being just that would have been better than inserting Finn and "The Man Upstairs." Others are a fan of the emotional elements it brings to the table, as well as the completeness of the lesson on creativity. There's also those who argue the opposite, that it's a great twist, but it was a mistake to have the Lego world actually be real, with Emmet able to affect the "real" world.
  • Cliché Storm: Let's see, there's The Chosen One who finds the ancient Macguffin needed to stop the Big Bad from using his Doomsday Device to destroy the world, he allies with a beautiful Action Girl who takes him to meet The Obi-Wan that leads a rebellion... yeah there's a lot of overdone plot points here. Which is entirely justified since it's a story created in the mind of a young boy who is more than likely taking inspiration from all the other media out there that uses these tropes. It also ends up subverting some clichés like The Chosen One.
  • Crack Pairing: The Galaxy Cop pairing (Good Cop/Bad Cop and Benny) has become both this and a Fan-Preferred Couple, despite the characters having very little interaction in the film.
    • There's also the more-bizarre Unicopy/Kittycops (Bad Cop/Good Cop and Uni-Kitty) pairing, due to the two having split personalities, despite the fact that these two sharing even less screen time.
  • Crazy Awesome: Benny, who has been oxygen-deprived to the point of going loopy, is obsessed with building a SPACESHIP, and screams SPACESHIP SPACESHIP SPACESHIP as a Madness Mantra while crashing through various LEGO worlds in his SPACESHIP to save the day.
    • Princess Unikitty; she literally lives in Cloud Cuckoo Land and in the end, she weaponizes her anger issues.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: A few of the jokes are like this. Lord Business, the NO PARENTS line in Batman's song and Ghost Vitruvius are major offenders.
    • Cleopatra was one of the Master Builders who got a tie-in minifigure for the movie. What accessory does she come with? An asp.
  • Crossover Ship:
    • Tumblr fans ship Uni-Kitty with Flain the Mixel, calling the ship Flaming Rainbows. This works since Mixels are available as Lego sets.
    • "SPACESHIPS!" Benny and Portal 2's Space Core would have a lot to talk about.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The one word that can be used to describe fans' reactions to Johnny Thunder's cameo appearances is "rejoicing". Made better by the fact that he was released as an updated minifigure in the Super Secret Police Dropship set.
    • Green Lantern- he's such a goober but that's not necessarily a bad thing (from a humor standpoint, at least).
    • Lego Superman, in complete Superdickery form.
    • Wonder Woman, because this is the first time she appeared in a major motion picture, even if it's only a cameo.
    • Benny, to the point that for many retro Lego fans, he was a selling point. It doesn't hurt he's the subject of one of the movie's most funny and memetic moments, and being Crazy Awesome to boot.
    • Also Unikitty, who, despite being introduced at the halfway point of the film, became so popular she got her own cartoon spinoff!
  • Evil Is Cool: Lord Business. Being voiced by Will Ferrell certainly helps.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With both How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Big Hero 6. It's a particular sore point for fans of this movie those two were both in the running for Best Animated Feature (and in the latter's case, won) while this didn't even get a nomination.
  • First Installment Wins: Consensus states that the novelty of LEGO reaching the big screen, with more charm and heart than the average piece of Merchandise-Driven animation, felt much fresher here than in the spin-offs and sequel, which didn't do as well among critics or at the box office (even though The LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO Movie 2 earned warm receptions in their own rights).
  • Fountain of Memes: Batman is rife with these sorts of moments:
    • "I only work in black or sometimes very, very dark grey!"
    • "First try!"
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • All the jokes about Emmet being a stupid, boring person that nobody really cares about take on a depressing subtext when you realize that Emmet is a representation of how Finn sees himself.
    • Steven Mnuchin in the credits as the film's executive producer.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • When Vitruvius is addressing the Master Builders, he pronounces Michelangelo differently when referring to the Renaissance artist and the Ninja Turtle. Specifically, Renaissance Michelangelo is pronounced using the correct Italian format.
    • The Piece of Resistance works on so many levels, including both etymology and definition.
    • When the Master Builders assemble, the Statue of Liberty figure greets Superman in French. Makes sense when you remember the real statue was a gift to America from France.
    • Cleopatra is shown wrangling a snake a couple of times. When she appeared in the Minifigures theme, the snake was included.
    • Vitruvius is named after a Roman writer known for his work on architecture.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Extremely popular in the UK and Ireland, to the point that over there, it was the second-highest grossing film of 2014.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • One of the items on the conveyor belt in the closing credits is an Academy Award, which The Lego Movie was notoriously snubbed of a nomination for in the Best Animated Feature.note 
    • The scene of Emmet gradually becoming more and more animated when he's in the real world, becomes disturbing when The Second Part has Rex Dangervest, Emmet's evil future self, actually learning how to move fully on his own after being abandoned. With the plan of destroying the Legoverse and the relationship between Finn and his little sister, simply out of spite.
      • Adding onto it - after Finn returns Emmet back to the LEGO world through the portal, Emmet ends up destroying a good portion of the ground underneath him. The movie doesn't pay attention to this, Emmet just apologizes and moves on. However, after watching The Second Part, it's entirely possible that Emmet was using Rex's Master Breaker power without even realizing it. It doesn't help that Emmet was certainly a bit peeved when that happened and Master Breaking is powered by anger...
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Emmet (eventually) being inspired to become The Special, mainly because he wants to learn be the kind of person Lucy believes him to be, becomes even sweeter with the sequel revealing that Lucy was one of the original artists who wrote/performed "Everything is Awesome", his favorite song that is a huge influence to his worldview and personality, meaning that she had already been inspiring him way before they had even met.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The fact that real double-decker couches existed before the movie came out.
    • This isn't the first time Batman gets into a fight with Liam Neeson and allied with Morgan Freeman.
    • This also isn't the first time that Phil Lord & Chris Miller created a story that featured an old comically blind black man.
    • This also isn't the first time that Will Ferrell has voiced a villain who prefers capes and robot mooks, and who has a change of heart at some point in the film.
    • Mistaking Wyldstyle for a DJ is not to be confused with one named Wildstylez, which was used seven years before the film came out.
    • With that in mind, using "Brickowski" as a surname is already used way before this movie, by a former basketball player named Frank.
    • Just like in Wedding Crashers, Will Ferrell is mentioned as an unseen special character (here, as The Man Upstairs) who is finally revealed at the end, emerging from a shadowy stairway.
    • "Everything is Awesome", a generic pop song about everything, well, being awesome, was mentioned as "topping the charts again" in-universe. The film came out shortly after Pharrell Williams' "Happy", a song about being, well, happy, was nominated for an Oscar and subsequently began a 10-week chart-topping run. Given that, in-universe, "Everything is Awesome" is a pacifying tool used by President Business to keep the citizens mindlessly entertained, the parallel can be both hilarious and unnerving.
      Robot DJs: We love listening to this song over and over again!
    • In the LEGO Adaptation Game LEGO Batman 2, Batman is also a jerk who really needs to learn how to cooperate. THIS Lego Batman was written independently but he's oddly similar to an exaggerated version of that, into someone who actually knows he's cool (or is trying way too hard to be cool, anyway).
    • The same year that this film was released, Chris Pratt also played the lead role in Guardians of the Galaxy, where he proudly proclaims he has a plan, then amends that to "part of a plan." And as in Guardians, Chris Pratt sings as a distraction to escape a hopeless situation.
    • Chris Pratt and Alison Brie played the Beta Couple in The Five-Year Engagement.
    • Given how Emmet and Batman were teammates in this movie, it's amusing how their respective actors happened to be in the two biggest Dueling Movies of August the same year.
    • Apparently, Batman is a fan of rock after all...
    • During the Stars Wars scene, Billy Dee Williams returns as Lando, while Han is clearly not being voiced by Harrison Ford. Then in The Force Awakens, Ford has a big role as Han, while Williams is the one surviving major cast member to not make an appearance. In addition, LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller almost directed Solo... which lead to a Harsher in Hindsight moment as the two were fired for creative differences before the filming was complete, meaning that this scene is the only scene where they actually would direct Han and Lando.
    • In the scene where the submarine is flooding, Batman declares "This is not how Batman dies!". A year later, the exact opposite would be the Arc Words for Arkham Knight.
    • People who ship Batman and Wonder Woman can have a lot of fun with A Series of Unfortunate Events, where Will Arnett and Cobie Smulders play a married couple.
    • Batman's wangsty song about darkness and no parents sounds like the rough draft to his far superior song used in The LEGO Batman Movie.
    • Princess Unikitty's Japanese voice actress is Miyuki Sawashiro, who is known for playing Twilight Sparkle. Now, Tara Strong, who plays Twilight, now plays Unikitty in the new Cartoon Network series!
    • As of 2016, Chris Pratt has been a cowboy in animated and real life films!
    • The final boss of the video game is a giant mechanical spider, which you finish off by knocking its arms off and throwing them back at its body. A year earlier, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance had you finish off Metal Gear EXCELSUS in a similar way, except you slice it apart with its own sword arm.
    • While invading Lord Business's tower, Lucy mentions how she doesn't like the song "Everything is Awesome"; however, when it becomes necessary to fool the robots, she immediately belts out a pretty fantastic rendition of it. The sequel reveals that she was actually part of the group which originally wrote that song!
  • Ho Yay:
    • Bad Cop's loyalty to Lord Business is seen as this by some.
    • Benny and Metalbeard get a bit as well, given that they are paired together in the tower job, Benny comments joyfully on Metalbeard returning to save the crew from drowning, and Benny has a tendency to hide behind/stand under/cling to Metalbeard's legs.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Lucy is Wyldstyle's real name. Then again, some official news sources may have accidently spoiled that one before the movie originally came out, so it was already a case of this back then.
    • On a much bigger scale, the reveal that the entire LEGO World is, in fact, a playset in the basement of an American family. Since it was such a big twist, it naturally gained a lot of attention. Then the sequel builds itself entirely on that plot point, which ensures that the twist is pretty much common knowledge at this point.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Lord Business and The Man Upstairs. In the end, they just want to be special like Emmett.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • Many people had interest in the film simply because Batman was in it and had a major role.
    • Other fans are just here for Uni-Kitty.
    • Many older LEGO fans are just here to see all the classic LEGO cameos, including Johnny Thunder and 1980-something space guys.
    • And others might come just to see if their favorite themes will make an appearance *cough* BIONICLE *cough* Blink and you'll miss them, but a shot of the Toa appear during an exposition dump.
    • For that matter, who else is just going to watch this movie just to see Morgan Freeman voice an animated character for the first time?
    • It also marks the very first time Wonder Woman appears in a major motion picture!
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Bad Cop/ Good Cop have been shipped with just about every character from the film.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Benny's love SPACESHIP of SPACESHIPS has become SPACESHIP one. Intentional, since the LEGO set it comes in is called "Benny's Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP!!!"
    • "Do you wanna build a SPACESHIP!!!"
    • "Business business business. Numbers. Is this working?" "Yes." Yay!"
    • Have you hugged a Uni-Kitty today?
    • The lyrics of Batman's song (Darkness! No parents!) have been frequently used to mock overly dark and gritty superhero movies, particularly Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • Misaimed Fandom: "Everything Is Awesome" is intentionally written to be a mind-numbingly obnoxious and repetitive ear worm, which works perfectly in the context of the film where President Business essentially uses it to brainwash the populace and suppress creative thinking. It's also ridiculously popular among viewers and was even nominated for Oscar and Grammy awards.
  • Moe: Uni-Kitty, obviously, but Emmet counts as well.
    • Benny, especially thanks to his Adorkable enthusiasm for SPACESHIPS.
  • Narm Charm: The entire film runs on Narm Charm. It plays almost everything for laughs, and operates on Rule of Funny, so the dramatic moments hit hard when they occur, even if jokes occur within them. Only a movie like this can make a line like "Then I just spray them with the taco!" into something horrifying, or make us cry about someone who drops dead with crossed out eyes. And it can cheerfully jump from dramatic to funny again in the span of two seconds, without feeling jarring or disrespectful.
    Christy Lemire: You know that old cliched response after walking out of a movie or a play: "I laughed, I cried"? This time, it's really true. I laughed my ass off — and then I cried. A 3-D, animated movie about a bunch of tiny pieces of plastic made me cry.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: As to be expected, as the movie got its own LEGO Adaptation Game in The Lego Movie Videogame. Due to the movie it's based on, it's the first Lego Adaptation Game to have nearly all of its levels appear as if constructed by Lego, rather than limiting it to just the bonus level (ironically its bonus level is Lego in a realistic environment like the normal levels in the other games). Rather than being a comedic parody of the movie, however, it's a more straight-faced adaptation that adopts the tone and approach of the movie with open arms. This makes it one of the funniest entries in the series with plenty of original gag material, such as Vitruvius' special skill being able to cross thin planks over dangerous caverns purely because he's blind and oblivious to the fact that he could be killed:
    Ranch Owner: Hey mister! Get out of that paddock!
    Vitrivius: [in the paddock with a mad bucking horse] I wonder who that man is shouting at? It can't possibly be me. I feel perfectly safe.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • The cameo from Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO and Lando Calrissian aboard the Millennium Falcon, with the latter two being voiced by Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams.
    • The crazy civilian-built fight machines promoted by the tie-in toys only appear for a few seconds.
    • It's Lego Dumbledore and Lego Gandalf! Not only in the same scene, but it's implied they hang out together.
    • Wonder Woman, notably the fact that this is her theatrical debut.
    • The Duplo aliens at the end.
  • Periphery Demographic: While technically a film for kids, it should be noted that 60% of those attending showings on the opening weekend in the United States were adults. And such an important trope that this is an actual plot point.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • Many an adult LEGO fan that had to deal with children invading their collection can empathize with The Man Upstairs — except for the glue, however, most adult fans are completely against that.
    • But it's also averted, as a few parents would end up feeling guilty if they made their children play with Legos as long as they used the instructions.
  • Special Effect Failure: Wyldstyle and Unikitty's mouths and face don't move when expressing their joy upon seeing Emmet back piloting a mech.
    • Invoked earlier when Vitruvius's ghost appears... as a ghost minifig on an obvious string, as well as President Business's headquarters jerking up. This however is a rare justified example, making it into Stylistic Suck.
  • Spiritual Licensee: With its plot featuring the revelation that the life the characters know is an illusion created by a demiurge and enforced by archons, this is actually a very good way to explain Gnosticism to people, and a close interpretation of a Monolith Soft game.
    • Has a similar plot to Bob Byrne's 2007 graphic novel, Mister Amperduke, where a man maintains a living Lego city in his basement that gets wrecked by his grandson while he's in hospital.
  • Squick: Metalbeard's story finishes with him escaping with nothing but his head and sundry organs; represented in — thank Heaven — silhouette by a long rope and a few specks. Obviously his intestines and all them pod-shaped insides. Also counts as Getting Crap Past the Radar.
  • Stealth Pun: Metal Beard mentions that he escaped from his first raid on the Octan Tower with some of his organs. Toys of him include those organs (represented by various meat products), which he apparently keeps in the treasure chest in his, well, chest.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • While Finn's dad is portrayed as in the wrong, keeping his kids from playing with the (often expensive) collector sets until they were old enough to understand how not to lose important pieces and such is perfectly reasonable. Granted, he missed the signs that Finn finally was old enough. He bought Finn plenty of his own LEGO bricks specifically so that Finn doesn't touch the sets. And really, wouldn't you be frustrated if someone else dismantled something you built?
    • Emmet's "double-decker couch" idea is mercilessly mocked as a dumb idea to make Emmet look pathetic, yet many fans think it's a brilliant concept. A few admit that the whole legs dangling thing might need looking at, but aside from that it's still seen as a good idea.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel:
    • Uni-Kitty is filled with this trope. Word of God even says she was meant to be "someone cute, innocent, and utterly adorable".
    • Cloud Cuckoo Land in general. Which makes its eventual destruction hurt even more.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: The Duplo brick aliens being the new villains at the end is Lego making a jab at a product of theirs that even most of their own fans openly hate. Doubles as Self-Deprecation.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes:
    • For some fans, Uni-Kitty falls into the category of being too ridiculously cute.
    • Cloud Cuckoo Land also gives off this vibe, given its pastel coloration, constant whimsy, and prominent cutesy puppy dog building. Batman definitely has such a view of this location.
      Batman: [gruff, as a clown and guy in a dinosaur costume dance around him] I hate this place.
    • The Duplo brick aliens at the very end are meant to invoke this.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Who didn't want to see Batman interact with Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman? Or meeting with the freakin' Joker? (Turns out they just wanted to save the latter for the spinoff.)
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Middle Zealand is described in a very specific montage, yet our heroes just drive through it within a minute and arrive at Cloud Cuckoo Land without any development in that realm.
  • Unexpected Character: The appearance of the Star Wars characters in the film received virtually no publicity, and was kept under wraps by the filmmakers, and the legal snafu around these characters ensured audiences wouldn't see them coming.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The animation is absolutely beautiful. Would you believe that there is no stop motion in the film? And yet they replicated the look and movement of Lego pieces exactly, right down to cracks, fingerprints, and oil stains from heat and light, to the point where many people watch the film and have no idea it's 100% CGI.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Some have seen parallels to modern America with the vapid and over exposed pop culture, corrupt politicians who spy on the public, and violent police. Also, some have criticized it as being anti-business. It doesn't help that some have pointed out that President Business looks like Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for United States President (who is also well-known as a businessman).
  • The Woobie:
    • Emmet, he's a very friendly guy but then the fact that a lot of people he considered friends don't really care much about him or even remember who he was. It's not really hard to feel sorry for him.
    • Unikitty, as she watches the destruction of Cloud Cuckoo Land.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: